Statistics on Torture

Content

1. International public opinion
2. U.S. public opinion
3. Guantanamo
4. The Convention Against Torture

1. International public opinion

Here are some data on the acceptability, according to public opinion, of the use of torture. (A more descriptive post on torture is here).

justification of torture

public opinion on torture

(source)

permissibility of torture

(source)

Torture

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2. U.S. public opinion

In an October 2007 Rasmussen poll, 27 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should torture prisoners captured in the fight against terrorism, while 53 percent said it should not. In [a 2012] YouGov poll, 41 percent said they would be willing to use torture — a gain of 14 points — while 34 percent would not, a decline of 19 points. (source)

Respondents in 2012 are more pro-waterboarding, pro-threatening prisoners with dogs, pro-religious humiliation, and pro-forcing-prisoners-to-remain-naked-and-chained-in-uncomfortable-positions-in-cold-rooms. In 2005, 18 percent said they believed the naked chaining approach was OK, while 79 percent thought it was wrong. In 2012, 30 percent of Americans thought this technique was right, an increase of 12 points, while just 51 percent thought it was wrong, a drop of 28 points. In 2005, only 16 percent approved of waterboarding suspected terrorists, while an overwhelming majority (82 percent) thought it was wrong to strap people on boards and force their heads underwater to simulate drowning. Now, 25 percent of Americans believe in waterboarding terrorists, and only 55 percent think it’s wrong. The only specific interrogation technique that is less popular now than in 2005, strangely enough, is prolonged sleep deprivation. (source)

acceptance of use of torture against suspected terrorists

gallup-torture-justified-or-not-justified gallup-torture-justified-or-not-justified-by-party-affiliation

(source)

pew torture justified or not justified

pew torture justified or not justified by party affiliation

(source)

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 3.00.36 PM

(source)
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3. Guantanamo

gitmo by numbers ACLU infographic

(source)
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4. The Convention Against Torture

Here are the countries that have ratified the CAT:

Nations which have signed and_or ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture

(SOURCE)

There’s an optional protocol to the CAP, which provides for the establishment of “a system of regular visits undertaken by independent international and national bodies to places where people are deprived of their liberty, in order to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. The following countries have signed or ratified this protocol:

OPCAT-members

(SOURCE)

If it’s generally true that countries sign treaties because they believe in them, then we can claim that the first map shows the extent of the universal acceptance of the immorality of torture, not of course the extent of actual torture. It corroborates what I wrote before on the legal and moral universality of human rights. For a more pessimistic view of legal universality, go here.

Here are some data on the actual effectiveness of CAT in reducing torture:

effectiveness of CAT

The x-axis shows the five years before and after a country ratified the CAT. Year 0 is the year that the country ratified the CAT. For example, year 0 for the United States was 1994, while year 0 for Nicaragua was 2005. The line shows the average torture score for countries during the five years leading up to ratification and the five years following ratification (where 0 refers to frequent torture and 2 refers to no torture). If the average country had reduced torture during this period, then the line would have sloped up.  The data source is Cingranelli-Richards. (source)

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101 thoughts on “Statistics on Torture

    • Stacie says:

      That is horrible, how can you say that. Torture is completly unacceptable, and I bet that you would not like to be tortured.

          • rusty says:

            its not about how funny it is its about saving american lives. those men had their chance to do good and they didnt, most of them deserve whats coming to them as theyd do the same or worse to us..

          • Riahhhhh says:

            It’s not about hurting them, you say “i bet you wouldn’t want to be tortured” it’s the fact that these men did a crime and some of them may have been responsible for the millions of innonecnt lives lost in the september 11th attacks. If you lost someone in the attack maybe you’d understand that these men had the choice. To kill innocent americans or to not and they chose wrong. So if torture leads to saving more innocent lives then im all for it.

          • 50. bmg to the face says:

            Stacie. You are one evil liberal arn’t you? your face and comments infuriate me to the extent to which my cornea enflames.

      • MostPeopleRstupid says:

        I’m pretty sure no one wants to be tortured, just like no one wants to go to prison when they commit a crime, but guess what…… that still happens. You are arguing that “You would not like a punishment if it happened to you.” That’s just stupid.

      • Hayden Scott says:

        “Everybody says they’re opposed to torture. But everyone would do it personally if they knew it could save the life of a kidnapped child who had only two hours of oxygen left before death. And it would be the right thing to do.” – Alan Dershowitz

  1. aj says:

    The ignorance of those statements is appalling! Have you ever looked at the amount of good or usable information is gained by torture? Have you ever considered the number of enemies you make as a result of choosing to torture? I assure you the statistics on that information would TOTALLY contradict the comments of those from bj and Janie. Surely these are from children and not ADULTS.

    • Logos says:

      Thank You for clearing that up. People can truly be ignorant sometimes. Torture is an easy thing to say but the effects of it are every harsh. The Psychological pain as well as the physical pain are extremely severe. Torture is not a good source to turn to. People in pain will say anything to stop the pain. Not only that, torture degrades our morality and brings us to the level of a terrorist. Our right to call ourselves descent human beings depends on our part being one.

      • Frankie says:

        This is true- Guantanamo uses not only physical torture methods but they also have ways of mentally tormenting the prisoners- the officers in Guantanamo have said that they’re used the prisoners fears against them when they’re being ‘questioned’. I think that Psychological torture isn’t even questionable.

    • Nick says:

      aj. first of all, you are ridiculous. obviously these people don’t believe what they’re saying. you’re ignorant for thinking that they are serious. second off, all the “statistics” that you are referring to are NEVER a true reflection of what is actually going on. Its disappointing how ignorant YOU are.

  2. Courtney says:

    Seriously! You’re all so ignorant that it hurts! Don’t you realize that despicable acts such as torture cause mental disorders such as PTSD? People who experience torture are scarred and most likely can’t live a normal life. Plus, the ones sent to carry out the horrible act are affected as well. They become steadily more agressive and short tempered to those around them. Think before you take a barbaric side on this issue. I’m only 16 but my research paper on this issue states that I know what I’m talking about.

    • Drew says:

      You all are completely missing the point: If you had a terrorist, and this terrorist had planted multiple bombs set to detonate in 5 minutes, and these explosives were placed all around your local metropolis, and the only way to get the location of these explosives out of this terrorist was to torture him, you all wouldn’t do it? Kill or disable one to save millions? I really could care less if a Islamic radical suffers from PTSD after we torture him. He made the decision to become a terrorist, to blow up schools full of innocent children, to even sink as low as recruiting the mentally retarded for suicide missions. Yes, I agree that the statistics would contradict my sentiments, but you must keep in mind that an overwhelmingly large percentage of people will believe in the stats and any other type of political refuse that organizations like the ACLU and Amnesty International will feed them. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if these statistics were issued by such an organization given the confidentiality of the American Secret Service (Who, keep in mind, has been torturing for a long time and continues to today). We are a nation of rules fighting against a religion that has no rules. Kind of a dandy way to lose a war, wouldn’t you agree? Before you all get in a fuss about your precious documents like the Geneva Conventions, I must remind you: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, and all of the other Middle Eastern breeding grounds for human garbage like terrorists, were NOT signatories of the Geneva Conventions, nor will they ever be. The bottom line is, the laws and Constitution of this country are great, but don’t delude yourself into thinking that Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, or any of our Founding Fathers created such beautiful documents so that we could use them to protect terrorists. Not torturing anyone sounds so wonderfully Utopian, it looks so good on paper, right? The reality is, it’s a great way to lose a war. They hate us because they hate us, and they will continue to hate us no matter the amount of leeway we give them or how hard we try to “understand” them. I respect your views, but you all are suggesting a foreign policy driven by ACLU-esque ideas. The day we start considering feelings of other countries or letting the ACLU or UN drive our foreign policy is the day we are truly screwed.

      • TortureIsWrong says:

        Torture is never, ever, EVER justified. Not to save lives. Not to win a war. Period. I can not even IMAGINE conditions under which I would consider torture justified. I would rather seen the entire human race wiped out rather than allow the torture of one person. It doesn’t matter who that person is. TORTURE IS WRONG. Period. There are NO exceptions. NONE.

      • Marian Teng says:

        Why would you mention a country or race? Any of us are susceptible to becoming a terrorist. It could be pressure that provokes us, or even a mental disorder. Torture can be justified in some cases, but not in all cases. In actuality, what we really should be doing is getting help for these people. Don’t make hasty generalizations! It is fallacious, and is harmful and insulting to others. I don’t care if this is the internet, rude comments and subtle insults are irking to read.

    • John Deer says:

      Your right, since you wrote a paper about the subject, you must be an expert. Hail Courtney. PTSD is a sad side effect to a harsh means of getting information, but your inferring that a person who undergoes torture is an innocent little lamb who couldn’t defend itself and is a victim. Considering said torture is conducted by the US, the subjects of the torture are guaranteed to be under some pretty heft suspicion, i.e. they aren’t in that position by accident. Also, the US does not conduct any inhumane or brutal torture by any means. You choose, be nice because it makes you feel high and mighty, or do the right thing and get what needs to be done, with out excessive or outrageously cruel means, of course.

      BOOM>roasted

      • Rwoneca says:

        I completely agree with John Deer, I literally just wrote a paper on this subject and I’m doing a debate against the opposition of this topic in two days, I also know what I’m “talking about.” We’re talking about torturing people who are in no way innocent, who would kill and and every American possible. And PTSD…….what about the PTSD people got from 9/11?? The ones whose families died for a completely unjust reason, or the ones who even survived the ordeal? I’d like to hear about the PTSD from them way before I ever care about the PTSD of a terrorist.

    • Taylor says:

      I agree torture does scar people for life to where most could not live the rest of their live normally, like Courtney said, but survey was not towards the use of torture to regular citizen. The survey was talking about torture against suspected terrorist which is what Drew is saying. Torture is justified is used, within regulations, towards person who are threatening lives of the innocent. Those who are terrorists planned and know what they are doing is wrong, the people that are being affected by these terrorist did not plan this and in no way are responsible for the attack placed on them by the terrorist. Did the 9/11 victims ask to be killed or hurt? No, it was against their will. I agree that torture as a punishment is extreme and immoral, so in conclusion shouldn’t they be used in extreme and immoral cases? Maybe not stripping away all of their rights but just to save lives. “I am not advocating torture as punishment. Punishment is addressed to deeds irrevocably past. Rather, I am advocating torture as an acceptable measure for preventing future evils…The terrorist’s victims are at risk unintentionally, not having asked to be endangered. But the terrorist knowingly initiated his actions. Unlike his victims, he volunteered for the risks of his deed. By threatening to kill for profit or idealism, he renounces civilized standards, and he can have no complaint if civilization tries to thwart him by whatever means necessary.” http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/torture.html

  3. Danielle says:

    Hello, I’m Danielle. These people slash off the heads of our Soldiers screaming Alalalala…[Not trying to be funny, I know this is a Statistic.], And you are also right. People come back with disorders like those that come back with Vietnam Syndrome. Examples: Crawling on thier bellies when they are in a gun shop.. But that has nothing to do with this. I’ll stop myself there. The only torture i see fit is holding thier heads under water, and telling them to tap thier hand on the ground when they are ready. Give them 5 minutes under the water. You don’t know if they trained. I find this helpful. I hope others do to. May I remind you I’m 14, And I’m already running a debate report on why torturing, in some ways, is right.

      • Sothis says:

        hey, i care what she thinks.

        everyone has HUMAN RIGHTS.

        I do not believe that torture is right, although sometimes it is “justified”. i believe that one is able to use torture when innocent lives are in danger, but sometimes the information that the victim tells is false, either because they just want the torture to stop, or because they are INNOCENT.

        i’m not saying that everyone who gets tortured is innocent, i just believe that there must be proof first.

        then again, there ARE the long lasting effects on either end…

  4. Tommy says:

    Tommy :Hi togetherCan anyone inform me about torture statistics for different countries….thanx!

    I mean vor example: how many torture victims live in Budapest, England, US..

  5. Craig says:

    Courtney you are an idiot. what are you doing? your just embarrassing yourself. never look up statistics of torture again! If they done something bad enough to be tortured they’re probably not exactly having a “normal” life.

  6. Jared says:

    Torture is neccessary. There is no probable way to get information from a terrorist. And who cares if a terrorist gets mental disorders.

      • beth says:

        hey did you know, they are living their life just like we would ours, fighting for what they belive in, would you fight for what you belive in…..yes! they are like us, just with a little bit of a diff background. why cant america be the better person so to speak, dont stoop to their level.

    • Marian Teng says:

      Torture is also very ineffective; people will spit out anything that’s on their mind, and not necessarily what is the truth. If you say that nobody cares if a terrorist conceives mental disorders, I say that I care. Human lives are to be cherished, and the terrorists themselves may have some sort of mental disorder already. If you were to compound that, they may do even more harm to innocent civilians. Torture may not be necessary in all cases. Think clearly before your post.

  7. Lenny says:

    Those of you who say torture is not justified because of the psycological harm it does to those being tortured, wake up. The psycological damage done to the loved ones of the soldiers and civilians killed by terrorist acts is far more severe. A terrorist who needs therapy after being tortured to save lives is a much better scenario than a wife or family of someone who was killed in a suicide bombing that couldve been stopped with the information gained by torture.

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  9. Angie Rae says:

    I’m studying to be a psychologist, so I kind of want to look at this from an objective, two-sided perspective.
    1) Everyone does have human rights, and who are we, essentially equal to each other as human beings, to judge these rights and deprive other people of them. I think most people would agree that it’s not acceptable in any way, shape, or form to torture randomly, with no justifiable motive, or any more that serves some other purpose. I couldn’t walk down the road and decide to take you hostage and beat you because I felt like doing so on that particular day. Even in the context of trying to get answers out of somebody, regardless of the cause or the reason that such answers are being sought, do we really have a right to hold one person’s rights in higher esteem than another’s?

    2) What about the cases when somebody, such as a terrorist, has the answer or information upon which everyone’s fate lies? Such as the location of dangerous bombs, etc. Do we not have the right to preserve the lives of ourselves and those of “sounder minds”(not to place full judgment–as that would be implying that those of certain faiths, such as Islam which in some terms supports Jihad and Holy Wars–are crazy. It is not my place to make that judgment)over that of the person who is putting our lives in jeopardy?

  10. Angie Rae says:

    I have definitely considered the faultiness of the ticking time bomb argument. It is generally unrealistic, I agree. But I’m sure people would agree there are instances, of course much less dramatic than a 5 minute life-or-death situation, such as the TBA suggests, that occur over a slightly longer time line that still are a life-or-death matter and would necessitate torture.

  11. beckah says:

    Anyone hear of the Milgram experiment? An ordinary college student was forced to “torture” someone by sending them death voltage shocks through wires attched to the victim. In reality,the victim was only pretending to be shocked, but the student didn’t know this and truly believed he was torturing the victim. Do you know how many students were turned into sadists or pyschologically damamged after the experiment? Torture not only hurts the victims but also the U.S. military down in Guantanamo being forced to torture.

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    • Stacy says:

      “torture rocks”?? I’m embarrassed to admit that I apparently am affiliated with the same party as you. If you don’t have anything substantiated to say, I don’t understand why you waste our time posting on this website. There are two fundamental questions regarding torture: Does it work? & secondarily, if it does work, is it moral in certain circumstances? I believe that the answer to second question isn’t pertinent because the answer to the first is no. If you do some research, I believe that you will find the same answer to this question. Also, in response to everyone’s accusations of the “terrorists” we are torturing, some of these “terrorists” are children, many of them were just supplied to us by bounty hunters for inordinate sums of money, and our government very rarely has enough evidence to convict any of these so-called “terrorists”.

  13. jennifer says:

    1) ticking time bomb scenario is rare
    2) if your torturing a terrorist, he’s gonna think your a butthole and tell you random information so you get off his nut and to get revenge for torturing him in the first place
    3) people are stupid and get all worked up and think too much about a perfectly logical answer.
    4) do your research. it might help.

    • Rwoneca says:

      Do your research? Does anyone know that because of torture an attackalmost the same as 9/11 was prevented in Los Angeles? And also just because a terrorist gives someone false information doesn’t mean they can’t check that info, and see if it’s right. Its not like all of a sudden when they give out some kind of information the terrorist can no longer be tortured and the US won’t check that info……..

  14. MostPeopleRstupid says:

    I’m seeing a lot of comments of here whining “YOU SHOULD NEVER TORTURE!” Sure, you shouldn’t jump to torturing right away, but it’s not like giving them a free place to stay and enough meals will convince them to say anything. Plus, not all torture is “Drag a machete across their back” or “water boarding.” There is nothing “inhumane” about annoying the shit out of a terrorist by blasting loud horrible music and keeping them up all night or smacking them around a little. And please, don’t go for the argument “If you’re just gonna torture them, then why not kill them?” That’s easy. Because doing that is “INHUMANE!”

  15. alex says:

    ive been rescearching this topic for a debate. im affermitive. i agree u should torture terrorists because sometimes it truely is a life or death situation and torture isnt allways death in fact in all cases death is a stupid thing to do because its killing your source of information. im twelve but allot smarter then some of you who just cry saying ohh but there people too, yeah people who just KILLED some one you may know. maybe its ur neighbor or ur brother maybe its ur mom who cares just suck it up people in third world countries have it allot worse then these terrorists and most are just small girls!

  16. Charleen says:

    Some of the comment you guys have made are truly ignorant. Those of you that naively think that the use of torture will magically save your country from all potential terrorists and treats are seriously deluded. Most of you don’t even begin to understand the effect torture has on the person inflicting the pain as well as the receiver. This isn’t some glorified interrogation technique that gets the right answers every time or is the solution to terrorism. Your explanations to why it is acceptable are ridiculous – this is TORTURE – an act whereby you are not only inflicting psychological and/or physical pain on someone that will be guaranteed to have problems for the rest of their life (if they even live through it), but you are also condoning that someone should actually accept doing that do another human being. There are so many problems facing torture that I cannot understand how any of you could truly allow it. Torture ruins people’s lives and very rarely has a positive outcome. I cannot comprehend how some of you honestly think that the use of torture and therefore a “guaranteed” way of getting information from hostile threats will automatically save billions of lives… wake up, most recipients would say anything to make the torture stop, in most cases the information is gained too late, or worst case scenario, the victim is actually innocent (but the torture doesn’t stop because the interrogators don’t believe them). I’m ashamed to see that this is what this generation trusts to be our salvation – have we not come further than that believed in the Middle Ages? Torture isn’t the right answer and is nowhere near a solution to terrorism. But continued, all that will be left is a world that is seriously messed up in justifying a technique that is ultimately inhuman and perverse.

    • 50. bmg to the face says:

      war is painful, yet it happens. there will always be conflict, pain, and of course… power. would you blow up a building knowing you could be tortured> I think not. yes I know nobody would do it in general, but torture is mostly a means of deterring terrorism.

  17. Trevor Perriman says:

    I too am doing a research on torture of terrorist. I am pro. Some information that was gathered from torture helped kill Osama Bin Laden. OBL was a huge threat to the United States Of America, well because of torture techneques, he is now fish food. I do not agree with killing people with torture though, they should live out their life in a cell for what they have done, enemies of the U.S. knew who they were dealing with in the beginging. we should not let them off with a slap on the hand.

  18. Lycus says:

    I agree with torture and i’m doing a exam for it, the point is…the situation in which an innocent person is tortured is more unlikely than what you think is the ticking time bomb situation, they dont just start torturing any one wearing a scarf! And all your points against torture are just you saying its ‘inhumane’ inhumane? seriously? if a dog kills a cat you call it natural and dogs have there own mind to decide, its natural to kill, but torture ain’t killing so those terrorists should be glad they’re not dead! Any way who decides wether its inhumane, to me inhumane is just a sad excuse for judging.

  19. Chase says:

    Not just anyone is tortured who comes off the street you know, most likely the person being tortured is already so messed up that that is the only thing that solves the problem which involves the lives of innocent people.

  20. Dana says:

    I’m against harsh torture, but things like short term waterboarding or even isolation cells are okay to me. ( Against terrorists only) Waterboarding causes no long term physical effects if done right, and may cause nightmares. But would you rather have one terrorist having nightmares, or thousands of people crying themselves to sleep over loses of loved ones that could have been prevented?

  21. Kate says:

    I am doing an argumentative essay on torture and I am pro. The excuses many people offer for why we shouldn’t torture are so lame. “The terrorist is just going to hate you for torturing him so he’s not going to tell you anything.” That is so stupid. Then people go and say “They’ll just say whatever to make the pain stop.” Yeah, because our intelligence agencies are so gullible, they’ll just believe ANYTHING a TERRORIST says. Our agencies aren’t stupid. They frame interrogations specifically for detecting falsehoods. They can tell when a terrorist isn’ telling the truth.

  22. Jack S says:

    Nobody here can come up with a realistic scenario where torture is justified.

    The best people have given so far is the ticking time bomb. Unfortunately, it is so flawed that I’m surprised it’s considered at all. It assumes that you know for sure the person is a terrorist, that you know for sure that the latter planted a bomb (funny, you’d think the only way to know that is through witness or camera, thus knowing where the bomb is anyway, and being able to evacuate), that only the terrorist knows how to disarm it, that torture is the only way to get it out of him.

    I’ll be generous, and grant you all of these mistakes for the sake of it. Let me ask you people a question: the terrorist knows that he is probably doomed either way… so what makes you think you won’t instead get a wrong code which detonates the bomb prematurely… time during which you might have evacuated a place… whose fault is it then? Here’s another one: if you think the terrorist won’t break in time, would you torture his innocent relatives or friends in front of him, in the hopes that he’ll divulge info? Also, what counts as “saving lives”? If a terrorist rats out his buddies, have you saved lives? What if they retired from that kind of life and planned to never kill or main again?

    Welcome to reality, kiddies. Here, we most often “suspect” people of being terrorists, and we “hope” that we have a way to fix the situation… that’s if we even know what fixing the situation means. Uncertainty is a daily event. These extreme scenarios you people come up with, where torture is the “only” way out, are full of holes and/or quasi-impossible.

    • Bob says:

      But what if the terrorist was tortured into revealing the location of a terrorist leader? or something about where the terrorist organization has it’s bases? or even, hypothetically of course, information about a future plot that are in the budding stages of it’s development? information like this can save lives as they prevent future attacks. Although you might argue that the information taken from the terrorist might be wrong or flawed, it is still better to be safe than sorry (like if a person threatens online to blow up a bridge. The police will still evacuate the bridge to be safe, and if the plot turns out to be false, there is no harm and life goes on after a bit of inconvenience). That, or we could use contradictions in the statement the terrorists give to another confession a different terrorist gives.

  23. kathryn godwin says:

    Jack, I think you are misunderstanding our points. Terrorist are not tortured to get a code that will “disarm” a bomb. Do you know how stupid that would be? They would give us the wrong code. We have experts that can disarm bombs. Torture is used on members of terrorist organizations to get information about planned attacks and targets. And yes, many terrorists plan to die; however, they are human. And there is only so much “pain” a human can take before breaking. If some pain will spare future American lives what’s the problem?

  24. kathryn godwin says:

    Even now, I’m still not sure exactly where I stand, but I do know that people would be talking out the other side of their mouths if it was their family that was killed in a terrorist attack. I do not agree with the absolutely “sickly disturbing” treatment of prisoners that has gone on in the past., but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about times when it is necessary.

  25. Victory(I'm not begin metaphorical, that's my name) says:

    I don’t understand how anyone could want to have another human being hurt like that. I think it provides people with a false sense of security, which is stupid. I understand we want information, but just let the CIA handle all that. The fact that we make a huge fuss over POWs being tortured and then still torture terrorists makes us international jerks.
    And waterboarding IS torture. Honestly, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a quacking duck!

  26. help me understand says:

    I am a college student in Saint Louis and am doing a research paper on how the current generation views torture vs. how they view torture from medieval times I am considering these times to be 12th-18th century although not completely accurate. If torture is used should it be used totally, for crimes like rape, theft, murder, etc? or from what I have read here just for terrorists? If we use it to “get information” why would it not be useful in other crimes? Would it serve as a deterrent? I have not made a judgment either way but have been looking through blogs and post for weeks like this for weeks and would like some direct feedback to these questions and some possible links to personal on known of blogs…. Please and thank you!

  27. Patrick says:

    Common arguments against: 1) we are like terrorists if we torture – WRONG. We do not decapitate innocent people for the world to see on video. We would use specific forms of torture to potentially save lives. There is a difference. 2) all forms of torture are wrong and evil and should never be aloud – WRONG. As a civilized society we have been able to argue opposing sides and the greater idea wins. We have been able to allow conditions to killing. Why not torture? We have accepted in self defense to kill someone and it is ok or if a cop does it to protect himself or others. To generalize all torture is bad or evil is irresponsible. But I agree many forms of torture is disgusting and excessive. Waterboarding is not. It is effective and should be acceptable with conditions. 3) It infringes on human rights – WRONG. Common sense again must be used if applying torture and specific laws could be passed to allow these conditions. And if abused, those people and organizations whether the CIA or other partied of the military, will be tried in a court of law just like anyone that breaks the law. But torturing someone doesn’t infringe on their rights. When someone is classified as a terrorist and intel can prove it, why should they be given rights when they are willing to blow up children on buses or kill random citizens? It appears they have given up their own rights and taken away the rights of others. Common sense should be used when discussing this. Terrorist have no rights. All forms of torture should not be illegal. Specific conditions and laws could be passed to help the war on terror and continue to prevent disasters and attacks from happening. America has never been a society to say “never” to anything and this debate should continue to be discussed in the arena of ideas.

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  30. beth says:

    people do not understand that they are just like us, living their life, fighting for their country or what they belive in, nothing any solder wouldnt do, using stress techinecs i think are ok, but why would you physicaly torture another human, you could just be the better man, no waterbording

    • Taylor says:

      Because using torture is not about being the better man or not, torture is used against terrorist to save lives, to prevent future evils.

  31. j.sar says:

    Torturing a terrorist should be considered justified. He did have his chance to make good in the world and chose to hurt people. If he was captured during, before or even after hurting innocent people and there is even a thought to another action that may already be set fourth to hurt more people and he will not speak then we need to retrieve the information from him to save innocent lives. Sometimes you have to take extreme measures to get the right answer. If torturing him until he talks would save many people’s lives then we must do what we have to in order to protect our nation’s people. Were not talking slashing him and cutting fingers and limbs off. Torturing a person without doing bodily harm is an extremely easy measure to take. Examples Sleep Deprivation, Forced Standing, Sensory Deprivation. All of these are effective and it does not inflict harm to his body to where he is in pain. Using psychology is the best way of torture. Make them think they are hurting when really it is in their head.

  32. 50. bmg to the face says:

    your comments infuriate me to the extent to which my cornea enflames. ah yes the common debate on torture. an anti-torture person’s normal response would say “,Torture hurts people, would you like to be tortured?” haha this made me laugh. Water Boarding doesn’t hurt people. its just a drowning simulation. Nobody wants to be tortured, that’s how they get answers from suspects. And im sure none of you are terrorists, so why should you have to think about being tortured, you have no good reason to be, so don’t worry about it. Seriously tree huggers, im guessing people that are against torture, are also anti-hunters, nature freaks, liberals, and gun law freaks. I could go on for days about hunting, and gun rights and school you people on it. but I cant. I have to write a paper on the pros of torture.. have fun arguing about this topic with your irrelevant answers. goodbye.

  33. Frankie says:

    Re: ‘the millions of Americans these people killed in the 911 attacks’.
    Under 3000 people were killed on September 11th. 90,000-166,000 were killed in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings in Japan. Americans killed these people.

  34. Frankie says:

    Read up on the kinds of torture Guantanamo does to its prisoners. They are sick. Maybe some sorts of torture can be justified, but killing a man’s wife and torturing his children infront of him? Emotional and mentak torture? These techniques are just… idk. It’s insane some of the things they do. Go look it up please please please so you can get some idea of the extent the officers go to to get what they want. Yeah, I get it- Osama Bin Laden and loads of others would still be alive to kill and hurt your precious Americans- but the THINGS THEY DO. How can these Americans stand to hurt other humans if they hate it when it’s done to them? We’re all humans, I mean c’mon.

  35. Frankie says:

    A 13 year old boy and a 98 year old man were sentenced to Guantanamo. Tell me now that this 13 year old had done so much wrong in 13 years that he deserved to be electrocuted and humiliated and driven mentally insane. Tell me that he couldn’t change.

  36. kentucky in u.s.a has found away to torture person here in our state saying there a drug problem and we are part of it people are being tortured and dieing because our state has made it so hard people in severe pain to get help only 15.000 person in united states died from over dosefrom pain medicine,400,000 died in cars wrecks so should we take cars away from everyone that a bigger number,only one in 16 person has problem with prescription drugs but government,dea acts like its killing everyone in state its a lie,there more person dieing from undermedicated severe chronic pain that they won’t tell you about or let them have an voice when ever their an meeting or group of person’s talking about how we need to treat chronic pain its over taken by those who are on a witch hunt blaming doctors,patients by those who want to make so hard to get these medicine’s that real chronic patient’s don’t have an chance i guess we’ll suffer in great pain and died,i looked into this all countries know that severe chronic pain undermedicated lead’s to dealth,i’ve been this way for 10yrs and it take’s time to found a good doctor to treat you as a true chronic pain patient and give the medicine you need since hb1 and the mindset of drugabuse that all i see and hear nothing about is all your pain being taken care of,the last doctor i went to undermedicated me,i told him month after month i was in severe pain,he looked at my rx record and seen and knew he was undermedicating me,i went to my appointment in october didn’t have any of my medicine because the mg was too low and amount to last,he dismissed me for not having it when i was telling the truth and made me feel like an drug addict i’m disabled have an metal plate in my neck at 53 i move like i’m 90 have to use a crane,i believe not only will the nazi’s be judged for torture in judgement day.

  37. ignorance is bliss says:

    37 years of my life,right here in America,ive been tortured. The jive idea that anal sex between to consenting adults, is just that jive. Mind control has taken my thoughts,memory, intelligence,ability to procreate,killed my pets,had been set up because due to mind control i didnt know why. In the game,i lost 16 yrs for ‘torture’ was conicted of rape in a kangaroo court and tortured while my captors hoped for a confession. Everyday and night,everyway including rape, body disfigurement and injections that dissolved my muscles. Denied medication after an assassination attempt,force fed psycotropic medications,offered an out if i agreed to a diagnosis of schizophrenia and psycotropic meds, denied spiritual counseling unless i went against my connection to God and do ’2weeks’. I cant pick up dog poop w/o being nauseous. The effect and affect of torture has not changed me. One thing my captors missed,as they killed my pets(children), i offered my body up to do whatever they wanted. As long as my pets were returned. Oh yes, my homes and earnings were stolen and was made homeless and a street person. What did torture gain my captors, shame. I lost my life because i spoke out,preached unconditional love and would not join in counter culture games. I am permantly disabled. The list goes on. After experiencing mind control and figuring it out,.information during war or anticrime could be painlessly extracted and used to save lives and protect nations.All the positive we could do with mind control, i wont say how it works and all we could heal medically if used right.

  38. ignorance is bliss says:

    Fyi if you read my response,.you will find out, iwas found not guilty on all charges and exonerated on the charge of rape( the eevidence and my continued thoughts, youre not able to hide thoughts did not support any of the accusers story including, the room was too small for a sex act to be committed in the way described , the other suspect who was in the shower with the victim was never investigated.) I never thought that story could happen in any nation, let alone the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    • Bob says:

      First of all, “humanely” is somewhat subjective which, i admit, is a bit of a weak argument, but it is still used by many people.
      Secondly, Terrorists are not counted as Prisoners of War as they are not officially affiliated with any state/country ect.

  39. J.C. says:

    I am also writing a paper on human rights violations due to the war on terror and I believe that if we allow ourselves to stoop to a level like torture or inhumane behavior it can only escalate until people are being punished for personal bias or in-concrete suspicion. Even if some of the horrible things people do now help others in the process, like stopping a hypothetical attack, then what’s to stop it from escalating until privacy, mental and liberal rights are no longer followed based on little to no evidence. The red scare started out with gov. employee background checks and led to McCarthyism, not the same but you get the point.

  40. PAST LOVE ..FROM A MEMORY says:

    I am a woman of 45 yrs old. I understand the “ignorance is bliss” man. I too was tortured and raped and also controlled. Forced fed, Isolated. Sterilized. You name it. I lived it. And I am tired. I no longer have any true reason to live anymore. I wish for death. I do. The ONLY thing keeping me alive are my parents. It isn’t right for a parent to bury their child. When they die? I know I won’t be far behind. I don’t know why I was selected to be so brutally attacked and destroyed. NO CLUE. But I was and it is, what it is. I have to live with it. They can take everything. But my soul and spirit belongs to God. They can attack my flesh, but I don’t care anymore. I lost EVERY FRIEND….except ONE. I was lied about, ostracized, Isolated, RUINED. Everything is pretty much gone now. And so is my beautiful country. America? is no longer here. The name is. But the RIGHTS of its people are now being killed off. Once all the Christians and people of love are all dead. Then they’ll turn on their own. My father was Military. Decorated. And did work for the CIA…and I am his child. And they….turned on me. Its just a matter of time…before…they eat their own kids. And mark my words…they will.

  41. PAST LOVE ..FROM A MEMORY says:

    PS….When all the people…being experimented on. (call it torture, if that makes u feel “safe” this isn’t just terrorists being tortured)….are killed. At some point in the future…those that are doing the experiments are going to run out of…..”test subjects”. And they will use what is left over. THEIR OWN KIDS. Mark my words….this is going to ..turn against the sadists and once the world no longer holds LOVE….and its pure hate. Our future is going to be one of, complete anarchy. For people ..(Muslims and Jews) that aren’t Christians. They sure will be READING …”Revelations”…once all the people…like me are dead. I guarantee it. (They are NOW) So will people from NSA. And DOD and CIA. I can bet their LIVES on it. And their children’s lives. I just know. They DON’T seem to WANT Christians? Then go ahead…KILL us all. And see the world…without people of love and peace. Place people of hate…in power. and WATCH the world….explode. God wont have to do a thing. The PEOPLE (SCIENTISTS) will commit suicide…by their own ego and power hungry hate. This has NOTHING to do with Religion. It does….with GREED and EGO and POWER. And make NO mistakes….in the future….there will be NO SAFE PLACE to hide..or go. Brutality…will become normal. And so is….betraying each other. If you haven’t faced or been cheated? ur gonna. The USA is going to lose its power. I just see it coming. Heck, they are now. The “Freaks” of the world, have RUINED it. They played “prophet” games and had “visions”….what a shame…the GREAT “EYE” in the sky…couldn’t see….their own grave. All their Lying, Cheating, No Morality, Stealing, Hate. Is going to curse them in death. Whatever u live up, u will live down. And “SCIENCE” is going to become their own worst enemy. If you need an example? just LOOK at the bombs from Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Saved our Country but will END our world. I can BET ur lives on it. The end of our world won’t be a mind chip. Or a bullet. That’s child’s play. Our Scientists…are playing baby games..right now.. Someday…they’ll know. The government is full of total idiots, and people of retarded minds. They are ATTACKING their own people. You all just don’t know this yet. When Justice isn’t upheld and Criminals are ALLOWED to torture and rape and perpetrate crimes against INNOCENT people without laws being upheld, U have all just opened the door to Satan and the end of the world. (Not as u know it….but as ALL life exists) LIFE WILL END!!!

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